During his long life, Mr. Lowe performed untold acts of chesed (kindness) towards people from all walks of life—especially those who were less fortunate—without regard to race, religion, or socioeconomic background, often anonymously, and without seeking or even desiring recognition.
These were the values he instilled in his three sons.
A lifelong resident of Savannah, Mr. Lowe was a child of the Depression, an Army veteran of World War II (Alaska theater), a proud member of The Greatest Generation. He was a highly regarded and popular presence in the Savannah community. In a recent column, Savannah Morning News writer Jane Fishman referred to Mr. Lowe as a man who “had opinions,” an understatement. There never was any doubt where Walter Lowe stood on any issue.
An autodidact and perennial student, Mr. Lowe was a voracious reader; he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable intellectual curiosity that were undiminished with age. He almost never missed Rabbi Slatus’s Monday night Torah class for the past 40 years, sitting in his hallowed seat, front row center, even at age 98.
Walter Lowe had a quick wit and sharp sense of humor. He was a man totally without pretense who possessed a reliable pretense detector.
He was a passionate music lover, whether it be the American Songbook, the “Standards,” Big Band, Broadway musicals, jazz—especially jazz. A jazz purist, he was an authority on Dixieland and “classical” jazz (but eschewed Bebop, a perversion). He often regaled his sons about the heady days of his youth when all the big bands and jazz greats made their pilgrimage to Tybee to “play the Pavilion.” Throughout his difficult last illness, he was still singing Bunny Berrigan’s rendition of “I Can’t Get Started” and Mel Torme’s “Stardust.”
He was an active member of the B’nai Brith Jacob Synagogue and Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society), and a past president of the Jewish Educational Alliance. He often spoke fondly about growing up in the old “Alliance” on Barnard Street, which he called his second home. He was the “Candy Man” in shul; he knew the names of all of his young “customers” who flocked to him, not just for the candy, but for the special greeting he gave each one (as long as they said please and thank you, made good eye contact, gave him a firm handshake, and said “good shabbos”).
Mr. Lowe was preceded in death by his beloved soulmate, Lillian Lowe, to whom he was married for almost 75 years. Theirs was a marriage truly made in heaven; a marriage that personified the Jewish ideal of a man and a woman joined together as one body and one soul.
He is survived by his three sons: Alan Lowe (Candy), of Savannah; David Lowe (Paula), of Washington, D.C.; and Richard Lowe (Marcie), Philadelphia, PA.; and was blessed with seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Walter Lowe was a man of faith who loved his G-d, his wife, his family, his country, his community, his Judaism, his synagogue. An ardent Zionist, he loved Eretz Yisrael—the land and people of Israel—for which he was a strong and persuasive advocate.
Graveside services and burial will take place at noon on Wednesday, December 16, at Bonaventure Cemetery, with Rabbi Avigdor Slatus officiating.
The shiva will be observed at the residence (outside, with masks and social distancing) following the burial.
The family wishes to thank Rita Slatus and her excellent staff at Buckingham South for their expert and compassionate care, and Kathleen Staley and her dedicated staff at Georgia Hospice.
Donations: Congregation B’nai Brith Jacob Synagogue, Rambam Day School, the Jewish Educational Alliance, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.